New research leads to calls for UK’s 10-day rule on fresh chilled meat to be reassessed
The FSA’s 2017 guidance should now be challenged, says BMPA.
Over the last year, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) together with Meat and Livestock Australia have jointly funded a project to provide independent research into whether a retail shelf-life of greater than 10 days can be applied to fresh chilled meat.
The results have just been published and the evidence, says the BMPA, clearly points to the fact that the Food Standards Agency‘s 2017 guidance should now be challenged, and that retail shelf life can, in fact, be extended beyond the current recommended 10-day shelf life limit for Vacuum and Modified Atmosphere Packed fresh meat.
This is important news for British meat processors, says the BMPA, as it removes a significant technical barrier to trade because the UK is currently the only country that enforces this 10-day rule. It believes that the rigid application of the rule disadvantages UK meat companies who often either miss out on export orders or are forced to sell product at a lower price than their overseas competitors because the shorter shelf life allows buyers to negotiate the price down.
BMPA’s Technical Operations Director, David Lindars, who coordinated the research project, said: “The shelf life of fresh red meat held at 3°C to 8°C is of great significance to industry. These new scientific findings will give meat processors the ammunition they need to apply longer retail shelf lives to their products”.
Mr Lindars added “it is not just the commercial benefit to producers, processors and retailers that will result from these findings. Longer shelf life of products will also benefit consumers and the environment through lower wastage and better sustainability. It’s a significant piece of research which will bring significant benefits to everyone involved in the production, selling and consumption of British meat products”.